Posted tagged ‘humid’

“You’re traveling all over the world but to be home is something special.”

August 5, 2017

The air is damp yet again and makes me feel closed in, hemmed in by the humidity. Rain is predicted for late this afternoon but the gray sky doesn’t look like a rain sky. It looks as it has in days, just gray.

Our Saturday movie night is going to be Sunday movie night because of the weather, the possibility of rain tonight. I have three new movies from which to choose: a new, unbroken Four Feathers, To Kill a Mockingbird and An American Werewolf in London. I’m leaning toward the last one. It has humor and a werewolf, an unbeatable combination.

I had to go around the parking lot three times yesterday before I found a space. It was almost right in front of the store. I gave thanks to the God of parking. I was in and out quickly, but now I find I need to go back. I didn’t read all of the recipe. I missed the sauce and its two ingredients. I figure to wait for the afternoon or for the rain.

I have a project. On the bottom shelf of my large metal table are three baskets. I keep putting stuff in them but take nothing out. They are mini closets, catch-alls for stuff I don’t know where else to put. My mother always had a junk drawer in the kitchen. My baskets are my junk drawers. I’m going to use a large trash bag for debris when I go through each basket. I’m hoping to find some surprises.

When I got home from Ghana and was hoping to find a teaching job, it never occurred to me to find a job which required international travel. I don’t know why unless it was just needing to get used to home again as I wasn’t happy here for a long time. I missed Ghana, the friendliness of the Ghanaians, the fun of market day, fresh fruit at lunch, the spectacular night sky, the wonderful smell of wood burning and so much more. It took me a while to notice the best parts of home.

Newspapers are making a comeback. The Washington Post and The New York Times, among others, are booming. Last November The Times signed up 130,000 new subscribers. I remember when I was a kid there were morning and evening papers, even special editions when something happened. I also remember getting ink all over my fingertips when I read the paper. I was mostly interested in the comics. My dad read the whole paper while he was having coffee. He got the Globe when he was a democrat and switched to the Herald when he became a republican. I get the Globe and the Cape Times. As did my father, I read the whole paper, each paper except I skip the international news in the Times having already read it in the Globe. I have a cup of coffee with each paper. I am my father’s daughter.

Some memories are unforgettable, remaining ever vivid and heartwarming!

August 4, 2017

The air is dripping. The humidity is so thick it seems to coat my skin when I go outside. This morning’s gray clouds are giving way to blue skies and intermittent sun. It is already hot. Here in my den, it is still cool. It won’t get hot until the afternoon after the sun moves from front to back.

The bird feeder I filled yesterday is already half empty. The birds flying in and out seem endless. One eats and two wait. They are mostly chickadees, black capped chickadees, the state bird of Massachusetts. I like to sit and watch them. The birds fly right over my head almost close enough to touch.

I can’t seem to find a story or a memory. That is rare for me as I have a huge memory drawer overflowing with scraps and pieces of my life. I guess I’m going to visit Ghana today, and I’m bringing you with me. There are so many stories yet to tell.

One day there was a knock at my door. It was a man I didn’t know. He greeted me. I returned the greeting. He told me he was looking for a white woman and was I interested. I said no. He asked me if I knew any Canadians. I said no again. He thanked me and left.

A blind beggar was being led by a small boy. The beggar was holding one end of a stick and the boy was holding the other. The beggar stopped in front of me and asked for money. This was while I was in training. It was my first beggar. I said sorry and sent him off with good wishes as you have to give a beggar something. He called me batoria, white woman. I wonder what gave me away? I also wondered if he was really blind.

I always went to the same vegetable lady in the market. I bought tomatoes and onions from her. She gave me my change the first time I bought from her, and I put it in my bag. She didn’t speak English but indicated with her hands that I should count it. I shook my head no. That cemented our relationship. After that she would dash me extra tomatoes and onions. Once she had a small watermelon. I have no idea where she got it, but she had saved it for me. When I was leaving to come home, I went to say goodbye. She was crying and gave me a hug. She also gave me a small gift. It sits on the table here in the den. She always comes to mind when I see it.

I loved the mornings in Ghana. The roosters crowed. The air smelled of charcoal fires. I could hear water filling the metal buckets where my students waited in line to take their bucket baths. I’d sit outside my front door drinking my first cup of coffee before breakfast. I had the same breakfast every day: two eggs cooked in groundnut oil (peanut oil) and two pieces of toast toasted against the sides of the small charcoal burner. I’d watch the school children cutting through my school compound to go to schools outside the gates at each end of the school. At one end was the primary school and at the other was the middle school. I was an object of curiosity until the students got used to me then they’d wish me, “Good morning, sir. How Are you? I am quite well thank you, ” all said one after the other without a break. I’d have one or two more cups of coffee between classes.

It seems my bemoaning my lack of memories was massively premature.

“Because once you’re afraid of one thing, you can get scared of a lot of stuff.”

August 3, 2017

The air is so humid it feels damp. The sky is gray. The slight breeze does nothing to clear the air. We are starting days of hot weather. I will be a hermit sitting in the cool house with doors and windows closed. The Sox game last night was rained out. There was thunder and lightning. It missed us.

My laundry is done, but the pile sits in the living room waiting to be brought upstairs. That’s progress to me and a check off the to-do list.

Ghost Shark is today’s unbelievable movie. The shark can appear in water, any water, including bathtubs and water coolers. It doesn’t eat the bodies. It is after all a ghost but it does lop off heads or cut the bodies in half. Even to me this is one strange movie.

Clowns don’t scare me, haven’t ever scared me, though the clown in Stephen King’s It is scary. I grew up with Clarabell. He honked instead off talked except he did say good-bye on the very last Howdy Doody show. Maybe it’s clown make-up which scares people or their bad taste in colorful clothes with ruffles. I guess clown shoes don’t help much either.

I admit the man with the hook scared me when I was a kid. My father told us the story with heightened drama, hand gestures and the occasional grabs of our knees which made us jump. When he and my mother once went grocery shopping, we were alone which was fine until we heard scratching on the screen and no other sounds. It scared us enough we hid under the bed probably the first spot a crazed killer would look, but we didn’t have the time to discuss the best hiding place in the house. We just ran. It was, of course, my father. He thought it was funny. We didn’t at least until we caught our breaths and our hearts stopped beating wildly in our chests.

I do like to be scared but not about real things. I never expect boogeymen in the bushes or that my house will be targeted by roving marauders. I keep my inside doors open. I have no window shades. The curtains stay open to the sun though not all windows even have curtains. If I hear a noise, I usually investigate, a little timidly but I go anyway. The other night the dog’s backyard lights were triggered. She was inside. I went out on the deck to check the yard but neither saw nor heard anything. I just shrugged at the mystery and went back inside the house. I left the inside door open.

The first place I ever lived alone was in Ghana. It took a bit of adjustment, but after a while I enjoyed being by myself. My house was right by the back gate which I sometimes had to climb over to get back into the school compound after hours. The watchman pretended not to hear me so he could stay by his bedding and his fire. My inside door was always open even then. My house was broken into one night. I was sleeping outside and slept through it all. Nothing much was stolen as I didn’t have much. My camera was found outside the house. You couldn’t buy film for it in Ghana so it was useless to the thief. I had very little money which was gone, but Peace Corps reimbursed us. I had my pocket picked at the train station and was the victim of an attempted purse snatching. Despite all of those, I was never afraid.

I have lived alone my entire time in this house. I haven’t ever heard scratching on the screen or eerie sounds at night. Gracie used to bark at sounds but doesn’t anymore unless there is a knock at the door or the bell is rung. So much for my watch dog.  Regardless, I feel perfectly safe.

“Cherish every moment with those you love at every stage of your journey.”

July 17, 2017

I turned off the air conditioner just to refresh the house, but that’s not going to happen. The air is thick with humidity, and there is no breeze to stir it. There are clouds where there is supposed to be sun. It will be 77˚ at the highest and in the mid-60’s tonight.

Movie night was fun, and the appetizers were delicious. We noshed on a feta dip with pita chips, cold cuts in baguettes, delicious cheeses and honeyed figs. Gunga Din was as wonderful an old movie as I remembered. It was one of those movies with a cast of thousands. The night was humid and hot but cooled down as we watched. I have neighbors on one side and renters on the other. I always wonder if they’re a bit jealous of us watching movies outside in the summer, such a wonderful way to spend a warm evening.

Summer had its own set of rules when I was a kid. The street lights no longer controlled our play time. We stayed out after dark. Bedtime was when we went to bed. Meals were usually catch as catch can except for supper which my mother cooked for all of us.  Mostly it was cereal for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch. We’d make our own. Bologna with hot peppers was my favorite sandwich. The peppers were round so I had to cut them, but they were still thick. The bologna came in a roll so I had to cut slices which were never even; they were thin on one side and thick on the other. My sandwiches were messy. White bread was just too soft and easily prone to holes. For dessert we’d grab Oreos, but they quick to disappear. The week days were ours to do as we wanted. My mother would ask where we were going, but most times we didn’t know. Riding our bikes or going to the playground were our usual answers. At least one weekend day was family day when we were stuck together in the hot car going to the beach on Sunday or to a drive-in movie theater Saturday night.

As we got older, we spent less and less time with the family and more time with our friends. I had drill two nights a week and competitions on the weekends. I slept late every day. My bicycle stayed in the cellar. My friends picked me up with their cars. Sometimes we did nothing but ride around. Other times we hung at one house or another just talking and laughing. That was pretty much the end of family time, but it reappeared when I was older, living away and teaching. I’d spend a weekend at my parents’ house. I even remember the three of us going to a drive-in together. The movie was A New Leaf with Walter Matthau and Elaine May. We laughed a lot. I had a wonderful evening with my parents.

“It isn’t how much time you spend somewhere that makes it memorable: it’s how you spend the time.”

July 13, 2017

The weather is crazy. It is sunny then cloudy then sunny again. The humidity is so thick you can cut it with a knife (my father loved that old saw. The wording is repetitive, I know,  but what the heck). It is supposed to rain later today and again tomorrow. I have nowhere to go so I’m just fine with rain.

When I was a kid, I loved summer rains. We used to stay outside and get wet, even soaked. The stronger the rain, the more the fun. We’d splash at each other with the rainwater running down the gutters in the street. Sometimes the water ran so strongly it resembled a river with white rapids, or at least it seemed that way to us. Paper boats never had much of a chance. I think my love of the rain came from the joy we felt during summer storms.

We didn’t always go on vacation when I was a kid. Mostly we stayed home and did day trips, what they call a staycation now. I think my family invented that. We kids didn’t care. My mother and father planned great excursions. We did beach days. I remember swimming in water left by low tide and surrounded by sand bars. The sandwiches always had a bit of grit. We’d walk the beach and collect shells. By the end of the summer, I’d have quite a collection.

I remember the museums. They weren’t air conditioned in those days, but they always felt cool, the way my hometown library and post office did. I have two vivid memories of stuff at museums. At the Museum of Fine Arts, I remember the sarcophagi. They were in one giant room and they looked enormous to me. I was impressed and amazed they once all held mummies. At the Peabody Museum at Harvard I remember the outrigger hanging from the ceiling and the ape heads in jars. For some reason those heads fascinated me. They were in rows, jar after jar.

We went to the drive-in often as my grandfather had a pass so our car got in free. Bringing bug juice and popped corn from home and candy from the store made it a fairly inexpensive evening. There were always two movies and an intermission. The first movie was for kids and the second for adults as kids were expected to have fallen asleep by then or why the pajamas?

We’d go out to dinner one night during our stay at home vacation which was such a treat as we seldom went out to dinner. We’d go to Kitty’s in the next town over. It was always busy and cheap enough. I remember the waitresses carrying huge trays with several plates of foods on them. I watched kind of hoping to see plates hit the floor. They didn’t.

It never occurred to me we stayed home because we didn’t have the money for an away vacation. All the wonderful day trips are what I remember the most. I love museums thanks to those trips. I have seashells on display in the kitchen. Our Saturday outside movie nights are like the drive-in without the car but not without the candy.

“Here Comes the Sun”

July 8, 2017

Yesterday we had the mightiest of storms. Down cape got nearly five inches. We got three. Roads were flooded, cars were stuck and small rivers ran along the sides of the road. The rain came down in sheets. I could barely see beyond my window. Gracie wouldn’t go out. She didn’t even stick her nose out the front door. I, on the other hand, ran out to get a package left by the mailman. I got soaked. When I got inside, I checked the package. It wasn’t even mine.

The sun was shining when I woke up, but in the shortest time, it disappeared and clouds, instead, filled the sky. It is warm and still a bit humid. I’m hoping the sun will be back to dry the deck for movie night.

Gracie has returned to the couch for sleeping. I wake up several times trying to get comfortable. Gracie sleeps soundly. This morning at 4:30 I heard her panting so I took her, outside. We both easily fell back asleep.

I like living alone, but there are times when I need another person. The bulb over the sink is out, but I’m not climbing. I need to trip a fuse or two as some outlets are not working. I went down the cellar and tripped a few, but not the right ones. I need someone to yell, “All set!” But, instead, I’m stuck going up and down the stairs.

Angela Merkel gave Putin the best eye roll while he was talking, and she was listening. Merkel is amazing. She is assuming the mantle of western leadership vacated by the United States.

Man spreading was the topic of a couple of newspaper columns and on MSNBC. Trump is the king of man spreading. He is sitting as forward as he can on the white chair with his legs as far apart as he can manage. Putin too was man spreading, but he appeared more comfortable than Trump who kept looking around as if to figure out what to do next. Hand shaking seemed to be his fallback.

Today is dump day. I haven’t told Gracie yet. I’ll just surprise her.

The menu is set for tonight. We’ll have sausage, pepper and onion in rolls. I chose colorful peppers instead of the dull green. We have Chinese and Italian sausages. It’s like a festival of foods, seemingly common but not common.

Glory Be! The sun is back and has brought blue skies with it.

“The wisest are the most annoyed at the loss of time.”

September 18, 2016

2 days to go!

Yesterday I got some errands done and had game night with my friends. We also watched two awful science fiction movies. My house/pet sitter came by to learn what she needed to do. It will be easy as she has stayed here before, and her son and daughter-in-law have been cleaning my house for ten or eleven years. Today Fern’s visiting nurse comes by to learn what meds Fern has to have. She is actually a pet sitter, but I like to think of her as Fern’s personal home nurse.

Yesterday I got some errands done and had game night with my friends. We also watched two awful science fiction movies. My house/pet sitter came by to learn what she needed to do. It will be easy as she has stayed here before, and her son and daughter-in-law have been cleaning my house for ten or eleven years. Today Fern’s visiting nurse comes by to learn what meds Fern has to have. She is actually a pet sitter, but I like to think of her as Fern’s personal home nurse.

Rain is definitely coming. The day is getting more humid. The breeze is intermittent but strong. I can hear the rustle of the leaves and the chiming of the bells every time it blows. It is a north wind.

I have to go to Stop and Shop today to pick up a few things. Before I go, I’ll have to remind myself to practice patience. People don’t take kindly to having their carts pushed out of the way even if they are parked in the middle. The slowest of all shoppers who walk down the middle of the aisle drive me to distraction, but I will curb my tongue and clench my jaw  and say nothing though every fiber of my being wants me to yell, “Move it.”

Suitcases are upstairs, a few shirts are folded and some toiletries are on the bureau. It looks like a trip is in the offing!